Liver is a vital organ. Found only in vertebrates, liver performs a variety of essential tasks like detoxifying the body, synthesising proteins and producing biochemical necessary for digestion. Wrong diet and lifestyle damages the liver tissues and leads to diseases like jaundice, fatty liver and hepatitis. Therefore, to keep the liver healthy one has to intake proper food. In this matter, Ayurveda can help.

Here are five simple Ayurvedic herbs that will help to keep your liver safe.

Kutki: This bitter tasting herb is considered to be the premier liver tonic. Cool in nature, it has a cleansing effect on the liver and gallbladder. In Ayurveda, kutki is prescribed to improve appetite and to treat jaundice or bile disorders. The herb is beneficial in skin disorders and to improve metabolism. You can also have one kutki capsule as a supplement each day for a healthy liver.

Turmeric: The yellow herb supports liver functions and cleanses blood. It also promotes elimination of toxins from the body. In most cases there is no need to take any additional turmeric if you are already using it in your meals.

Guduchi: One of the most valued herbs in Ayurveda, guduchi is known for its detoxifying and blood cleansing properties. Ayurvedic herbal medicines prepared for liver problems contain guduchi. The herb also helps in treating jaundice, hepatitis and fatty liver. But guduchi should be taken under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor.

Triphala: Triphala is the mixture of three medicinal plants native to India viz, amla, bibhitaki and haritaki. It helps in regularising metabolism and bowel movements. Triphala churna (powder) can be consumed by anyone every night before going to sleep.

Aloe vera: Aloe vera juice flushes toxins out of the liver (hepatoxicity). It enhances proper digestion. Aloe vera also fights stress and strengthens the immune system.

Always keep in mind, do not self-medicate with herbs. For treatment of liver problems, consult a doctor.

Factors that may increase the risk of liver disease

Heavy alcohol usage
Injecting drugs using shared needles
Tattoos or body piercings
Blood transfusion before 1992
Exposure to other people’s blood and body fluids
Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins

(The writer is Director, Jiva Ayurveda)